Welcome to the Mazmanian Lab Site


We All Live In A Microbial World


Microbes dominate as the most abundant life form on Earth, occupying almost every terrestrial, aquatic, and biological ecosystem on our planet. Humans are no exception. Throughout our lives, we continuously encounter and provide residence to microorganisms that range from those essential for health, to those causing death. The human body is permanently colonized by microbial organisms on virtually all environmentally exposed surfaces. The vast majority of these microbes are harbored in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract where commensal bacteria can outnumber host cells by 10-fold (thus, we are all 90% bacteria on a cellular level). Many vital host functions are provided by the microbiota, including the synthesis of vitamins, digestion of complex polysaccharides, maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier, and resistance to pathogen colonization. Millions of years of co-evolution have inextricably linked the health of mammals to their microbiota. Our laboratory explores the fascinating connections between gut bacteria and the two organ systems that are 'educated' by environmental cues throughout life, the immune and nervous systems, and describe revolutionary approaches to uncover potentially novel therapies for complex human diseases.